Uncertain dates

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Uncertain dates

pelm
How can i enter, and output a gedcom-accepted format, of uncertain dates like: 178?-10-24 or 1846(5) or 1777(5)-03-20 (as i typed them, knowing of course that they're wrongly typed). How can i type them in Gramps so they appear as they should and gedcom-friendly?

/pelm
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Re: Uncertain dates

paul womack
pelm wrote:
> How can i enter, and output a gedcom-accepted format, of uncertain dates
> like: 178?-10-24 or 1846(5) or 1777(5)-03-20 (as i typed them, knowing of
> course that they're wrongly typed). How can i type them in Gramps so they
> appear as they should and gedcom-friendly?

A quick google for the GEDCOM spec says you can't.

GEDCOM dates can be numerically (temporally?) approximate,
but not textually approximate.

GEDCOM does support "date phrases"

http://www.tamurajones.net/GEDCOMDatePhrases.xhtml

but these appear to be "text that isn't a real date" that's allowed
in a date field. It's little more than a note.

In Gramps, I would suggest entering a numerically approximate date
in the date field, and your textually approximate date in a note.

For your examples, I would suggest

"between 1780 and 1789"
"between 1845 and 1846"
"between 1776 and 1777"

These will at least sort in roughly the correct way, which is useful.

  BugBear

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Re: Uncertain dates

pelm
Thanks for the suggestion! The "date phrase"-support in GEDCOM maybe isn't an optimal solution for dates but can be useful sometimes. Is there some support for it in Gramps or will it be in the future?
/pelm
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Re: Uncertain dates

paul womack
pelm wrote:
> Thanks for the suggestion! The "date phrase"-support in GEDCOM maybe isn't an
> optimal solution for dates but can be useful sometimes. Is there some
> support for it in Gramps or will it be in the future?

Well, it will NEVER sort or filter for you, so I actually think
my "work round" is better.

  BugBear

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Re: Uncertain dates

Carey
I agree with BugBear. The purpose of having formatted anything is so you can operate on it. So it is important for the format to be respected. What might one want to do with a date? Sort and filter as BugBear says. If you know something about an event that is not a date, you will not be wanting to do date operations on it, and it will be prose in a note or comment. If there is a date component to your information, you can extract that and have both. Especially when a date range is accepted.

As an example, lets say a document has damage on the year digit and you know something happened on 15-Oct-182? and the missing digit looks to be a 6 or 8 but you can't quite tell which. You would apply some deductive reasoning based on other information you have, if any. Let's say you choose 1826. In the notes mention that there was some question about the year and why you elected to use 1826. If you can't settle on a single date, use the range that spans the possibilities, and explain why in the notes. 

There is no purpose served by making a date field accept a non-formatted "note" when notes exist in the record. Either you have a useful date or you don't. Put a date or range in the date field or don't. 

Carey


On Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 9:00 AM, paul womack <[hidden email]> wrote:
pelm wrote:
> Thanks for the suggestion! The "date phrase"-support in GEDCOM maybe isn't an
> optimal solution for dates but can be useful sometimes. Is there some
> support for it in Gramps or will it be in the future?

Well, it will NEVER sort or filter for you, so I actually think
my "work round" is better.

  BugBear

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Re: Uncertain dates

pelm
Thanks for the explanation and example, it sounds good and it happened to be the way my work landed in at the end. In the date field i only have the date which is likely real and if it is some doubts leave that in a note. I asked about date phrases because some genealogy programs i know of have support for it with "interpreted dates" INT DATE in gedcom, (i'm from Sweden and a program called "MinSläkt" have it for example). But i agree with you that this solution is better. Thanks!

Carey wrote
As an example, lets say a document has damage on the year digit and you
know something happened on 15-Oct-182? and the missing digit looks to be a
6 or 8 but you can't quite tell which. You would apply some deductive
reasoning based on other information you have, if any. Let's say you choose
1826. In the notes mention that there was some question about the year and
why you elected to use 1826. If you can't settle on a single date, use the
range that spans the possibilities, and explain why in the notes.